Contact And Colonisation
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Contact and Colonization
Truganini was an aboriginal Tasmanian who lived in Bruny Island from 1812 to 1876 ACE when European colonizers had landed there recently. She is considered the last full-blood aboriginal person. Being the daughter of an Island chief and the leader of her people she had to confront the European invaders more than anyone else. The first contact experience of Truganini and her people with the Europeans was in the form of conflict. Truganini was famous for her shrewdness and wit, but she lost almost all her family members to the Europeans between 1803 and 1829. Augustus Robinson detained her in 1829; she would spend the rest of her life with the Europeans. Her contact experience with the Europeans was not good as she lost everything she had due this (Bell, 2013).
Truganini was an intelligent daughter of Mangana the chief of Bruny Island of Australia. She belonged to a hunter group of indigenous communities from Tasmania. She was one of the survivors of The Black Wars. She grew up fighting against the colonizers, but she attempted to reconcile her people with the foreign invaders when she realized that they were decaying. Her husband, sisters, and some other family members died during the Black Wars (Truganini: The life story of the last surviving Tasmanian Aboriginal, 2017). She worked with Robinson during the 1930s to make a settlement of her people on Port Philip, but unfortunately, all her people died during and after the immigration to the settlements. She died in 1876 being the last Aborigine, but she had to wait for five score years to have a funeral of her desire.
The contact between the people of Truganini and the Europeans started after 1800 and lasted for less than half a century. British settlements were built on Bruny Island in 1803, which caused the first direct contact between the Europeans and the Aborigines. The contact was bloody as the Europeans started shooting every aborigine. Killing an aborigine was not a crime and everyone had freehand to kill them. The natives were horrified and the conflicts started. The natives were either detained or allured to the settlements and then smuggled to Europe for slavery. Truganini also had to experience brutal rape when she was detained by them. By 1830, only a few hundred Aborigines were left alive which also could not survive.
This contact with the Europeans and the Aborigines eliminated one party: the Aborigines. The aborigines were a hunting society, and the Europeans were having an agricultural background. Moreover, the Europeans had the latest weapons and skills which naturally oppressed the wild hunters. One segment of their population died by the European weapons, and the other segment was taken to Europe as slaves. The remaining Aborigines died of the European diseases which proved lethal against their immune system (Truganini - Woman - The Australian Women's Register, 2019). Truganini’s life also changed after that contact. After losing her family and people she was obliged to spend her remaining life being a European prisoner. She was not biased towards the Europeans, but she always looked forward to leading her people from the front. Her conflicts with the Europeans were the result of the European brutalities. She stayed strong and faced all the European brutalities (The story of Truganini: one of the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanians, 2014). She tried her best to find and save any family or person left of Aborigines, but when she was permanently captured, she asked the authorities to arrange her funeral according to her belief after her death. It seems that she knew the nature and intentions of the invaders. This contact left no significant impression on the lives of the Europeans. They entered the Aborigines’ lands and eliminated them leaving no competition. They rebuilt the culture of this New World following their European ideals.
Truganini belonged to a Tasmanian Island which was invaded by the European colonizers during the first half of the 19th century. The contact between the two peoples started as a result of this. The Europeans colonized the land of Truganini's people and erased the Aborigines along with their culture. Consequently, one culture faded and the other culture prevailed on the land of Aborigines.
The story of Truganini: one of the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanians (Palawa) – Originalpeople.org. (2014). Originalpeople.org. Retrieved 30 October 2019, from http://originalpeople.org/story-truganini-full-blooded-aboriginal-tasmanians-palawa/
Truganini: The life story of the last surviving Tasmanian Aboriginal. (2017). The Vintage News. Retrieved 30 October 2019, from https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/02/09/truganini-the-life-story-of-the-last-surviving-tasmanian-aboriginal/
Truganini - Woman - The Australian Women's Register. (2019). Womenaustralia.info. Retrieved 30 October 2019, from http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE1098b.htm
Bell, K. (2013). cultural contact definition | Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved 30 October 2019, from https://sociologydictionary.org/cultural-contact/
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